NASA has shared a high-quality video of the Perseverance rover’s descent to Mars, as well as a 3D image of the landing site and the first audio recording of the Red Planet.
According to The Associated Press, the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory unveiled the footage of Thursday’s landing at a news conference Monday and posted the clips online.
“The real footage in this video was captured by several cameras that are part of the rover’s entry, descent and landing suite,” reads a description of the video on YouTube. “The views include a camera looking down from the spacecraft’s descent stage (a kind of rocket-powered jet pack that helps fly the rover to its landing site), a camera on the rover looking up at the descent stage, a camera on the top of the aeroshell (a capsule protecting the rover) looking up at that parachute, and a camera on the bottom of the rover looking down at the Martian surface.”
The rover’s navigation cameras also captured a 360-degree image of the landing site.
In addition, officials released audio of the wind blowing on Mars’ surface.
“A microphone attached to the rover did not collect usable data during the descent, but the commercial off-the-shelf device survived the highly dynamic descent to the surface and obtained sounds from Jezero Crater on Feb. 20,” NASA said in a news release. “About 10 seconds into the 60-second recording, a Martian breeze is audible for a few seconds, as are mechanical sounds of the rover operating on the surface.”
In a statement, Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for science, called the descent video “the closest you can get to landing on Mars without putting on a pressure suit.”
“It should become mandatory viewing for young women and men who not only want to explore other worlds and build the spacecraft that will take them there, but also want to be part of the diverse teams achieving all the audacious goals in our future,” he said, according to the news release.
While on the Red Planet, the Preservance will help with the “search for signs of ancient microbial life,” the release said.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.